A Celebration Under Lights

Three days ago, August 5th, I celebrated my one-year blog anniversary. During the morning of my blog anniversary I published an eBook with twenty-five poems from my blog, along with one photograph from each post (link below), and then I digitally shared my eBook and anniversary accomplishment with friends and family. If not for COVID plaguing our state (and world), I would have done more than share my news from a distance; I would have invited a few friends over to celebrate my year of focused creative writing – a year that has changed my life. My accomplishments may be modest, but if we do not celebrate life’s milestones, what is the point in this trolley ride? I would have turned on our backyard string lights, made everyone a delicious dinner and dessert (vegan, of course πŸ˜‰) and I would have enjoyed their company. I would have talked briefly about posting on a blog every Saturday for the last fifty-two weeks, completing other writing projects, and working with author Sandra Marinella, helping her teach narrative therapy. With a wide grin, not hidden behind a mask, I would have hugged them and thanked them for supporting my writing ventures over the last twelve months. We would have shared some laughs and life updates, under our backyard string lights.

I was not able to follow through with my blog anniversary dream plans, because people are still reluctant to gather (a recent and heartbreaking family loss has made this reluctance all too real). So, I did what we have all had to do 1,001 times this year; I changed my plans. I put on a dress and heels yesterday (first time since New Year’s Eve), posed for a photo to mark the moment, then I enjoyed a quiet celebration with my husband. I took a few more photos to share, because that is what I love to do, then I blew out one candle and thanked my husband for his love and encouragement. I gave him the night off from listening to another poem, but I did listen to him play his guitar. Inspired I was, under our backyard string lights. πŸ’—

You can read more about why I created this blog on my β€œAbout” page, but for my one-year anniversary post, I will share some reflections on what I have discovered during my year of blogging:

I have:

  • Learned that sharing my words with the β€œworld” has been liberating (even if terrifying, at first)
  • Learned how starved I was for a creative outlet (what a blessing writing and photographing nature has been through the Pandemic)
  • Improved my photography skills and have fallen back in love with a younger passion
  • Learned how to use InDesign, Audition, and Lightroom (an expert, I am not, but I am learning)
  • Improved my WordPress skills (I used the program as a journalism teacher, but there is always more to learn, always)
  • Learned how to create and then publish paperbacks and eBooks on the KDP platform
  • Learned how supportive family and friends, including new friends, can be
  • Been moved and forever indebted to the two women I interviewed early in this blog adventure, who opened their hearts and trusted me with their stories
  • Virtually met interesting and creative people from around the world
  • Been educated, entertained, and elevated by other writers in the blog world
  • Collaborated with our talented daughter on two Being a Woman chapbooks (she just completed the drawings for our second – soon to be published – collection, one final collection to go!)

I am excited to head into my β€œterrible twos” with all of you! πŸ˜„ An expression that I do not intend to carry out. After writing my way through loss, life changes, and limiting beliefs, I intend on having a heightened inspired experience in my second year of blogging. Β 

Thank you for joining me on this journey, that has enriched my life and has helped me reconnect with and re-discover myself. πŸ¦‹

If this link takes you to the main Amazon page, just type in my full name, and you will find my books. πŸ“šπŸ˜€

Copyright Β© 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.

20 thoughts on “A Celebration Under Lights

  1. Congratulations, Michele!

    I would say your first year was pretty amazing! You could have kept all of this creativity to yourself. But you didn’t. You opened up your vulnerability and shared your journey, with rewards going both ways between you and your compatriots. Thank you for doing that.

    I look forward to the next installments as you pursue a new adventure called Year Two. The sensitivity that surrounds the words you share and the meticulous awareness that shows through the magic of your camera lens (it has been well trained!) offer a desperately needed calming space for those of us who are privileged to share your output.

    And now, I believe I will head for Amazon and see what awaits there. It is an honor to be able to own the results of the Sefton family endeavor with your creativity, your daughter’s collaboration, and John’s enduring support. Quite a combination!

    As the old song goes, Michele, Happy Trails to You.



    Liked by 4 people

  2. Krissy

    You are such a beautiful wife, mom , friend and writer. You are such an inspiration. I’ve enjoyed your blog. I love you and cherish your friendship. You are amazing & beautiful ( inside and out). I am blessed to have you in my life. You are special to me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am so glad that our paths crossed and that you four are still in our lives, even if your path took you away from us. 😒 But you’re not far and you are always in my heart. I am humbled by your kind words and please know how much you and your family mean to us. Hopefully, you are all staying healthy and managing at-home-schooling during this time. I know you are! Hope to see you and HUG YOU before the next crop of citrus. πŸ‹πŸŠπŸ€—πŸ˜˜


    1. Thank you, Sandra, for the beautiful comments and for the work you do, creating a welcoming space for people to share their stories and learn about the benefits of doing so. I certainly have learned and I am forever changed! πŸ₯°


  3. Wings open wide as you glide from The Cascades into a third year, my dear! So glad to have made your acquaintance, and wish for you continued success sharing your stories and dreams, your insights, empathy and inspiration, as your flight plan encompasses ever-expanding horizons πŸ¦… Keep up the good work, Michele πŸ€—πŸŒž

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You truly are a kind and thoughtful person, Phil. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and make note of my third year. I was going to mention it in a post, but did not, have not. I would also like to release a second eBook with poems from year two… it will take me longer than I would like, because I am working on finishing a book. πŸ€ͺ A sincere thank you. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ€—πŸŒž

      Liked by 1 person

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